Easter Sunday, 2010

Marlborough, MA

Pastel colors are popping up all over the stores. Chocolate covered eggs and sugar coated candies are beginning to be displayed on the shelves. Easter is coming. This is when I start my emotional journey. My personal time to grieve the loss of my baby.

I think about my ‘Angel Baby ‘ all year round, but this time of year is still so very painful for me. We are coming upon the Easter season way too quick. I know my body. I know my mind. I know my soul. I know I still hurt. I know I am still grieving your loss. You were all mine for four precious months and then I had to let you go. I couldn’t say hello. I couldn’t say goodbye.

My flashbacks of Easter Sunday [nearly five] are extremely vivid yet confusingly foggy. I remember my body going into a faint labor that intensified slowly throughout the day. My contractions got stronger and I started hemorrhaging. By the time we pulled up to the ER I had completely soaked a bath towel. I saw Steve’s tan face turn as pale as the hospital walls. He told me not to look. I knew right then that it was really bad.

I thank God for Steve and his comforting arms supporting my weak body and his gentle lips kissing my salty cheeks. I thank God for morphine and it’s sweet, sweet escape. I needed it. I begged the nurses to pump me with more. They did. No questions asked. I needed to be relieved of the pain of losing you so uncontrollably fast. A few quick pushes and you were gone. Gone. God took you away from us for reasons only he will ever know.

Only a few hours later, Steve and I made the hazy walk out of the hospital holding on to each other so tight. Just the two of us. Together. Over the next few weeks our tiny house would be bursting at the seams with colorful flower arrangements, thoughtful sympathy cards, and hearty casserole dishes from family and friends. Everyone cared for us in their own little way. But in the end, it was just Steve and I. Grieving together as only parents who lose a baby can do. Nobody understood what we had been through. Besides a couple close friends of mine, not too many people felt comfortable talking to us about our baby. This really, really upset me at the time, but I have come to realize that it is not their fault. Our culture has such a negative view on baby loss that people become so uncomfortable when faced with it that they don’t know how to act, what to do, or what to say.

The next few weeks were a daze. I tried distracting myself with anything and everything I could. I wanted so badly to be strong for my family. For weeks I would cry in the shower. I’d get a real good cry in so that I could face the rest of my day. I went back to work way too soon. I didn’t allow myself the extra time I needed to heal. I had a full blown anxiety attack at work that landed me back in the ER. Scary. Nothing prepares you for becoming a parent. Nothing prepares you for losing your baby.

It has been almost three years now and though the pain has eased, I still find times that hurt. Real bad. I still find times that I feel all alone in my journey. I miss you even though I never even got to meet you. I thank God for letting me carry you for the time that he did. I know that he is carrying you now in a place that is so beautiful we can only see it in our dreams. I will always be your mommy. I will always love you.

Mommy will hold you, kiss you and hug you- someday.
I am not looking for any form of sympathy. I just wanted to share my story. I have stayed silent for too long. Baby loss can’t continue to be ignored. This is a real issue that happens to many parents. Support from family, friends, doctors, priests and therapists is such an important piece in the healing process. So if I can offer some advice to parents who lose a baby then it would be to take the necessary time you need to grieve. Don’t try to be a hero and jump back into life when you are not ready. Life will be there waiting for you when you are good and ready for it. And know that it is okay to not be okay. Take your time. Try to find other parents who have also lost a baby and confide in them.

I’d also like to give some advice to the families and friends who know someone going through this. Sending flowers is nice. Sending a sympathy card is thoughtful. Cooking a casserole is useful. But bringing flowers, cards and casseroles to the house is so much better. Sit down with the couple and let them talk to you about their baby. Look them in the eyes when they are talking to you and don’t look away. Let the parents cry and don’t be afraid to let the parents see you cry. It’s nice for them to know that they are not alone in their journey.

” A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.” – Unknown

Amy can be contacted at amycarpentier@yahoo.com

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